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The attitudes of undergraduate nursing students towards mental health nursing: a systematic review

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 authored by Brenda Happell, Cadeyrn GaskinCadeyrn Gaskin
Aims and objectives. To present the findings of a systematic review on (1) the attitudes of undergraduate nursing students towards mental health nursing and (2) the influence of undergraduate nursing education on the attitudes of undergraduate nursing students towards mental health nursing. Background. Recruitment and retention of mental health nurses is challenging. Undergraduate nursing students’ attitudes towards mental health nursing may influence whether they choose to practice in this specialty upon graduation. Design. A systematic review. Method. Searches of the CINAHL, MEDLINE and PsycINFO electronic databases returned 1400 records, of which 17 met the inclusion criteria for this review. A further four papers were obtained through scanning the reference lists of those articles included from the initial literature search. Results. Research on the attitudes of undergraduate nursing students towards mental health nursing has consistently shown that mental health is one of the least preferred areas of nursing for a potential career. With respect to the influence of undergraduate nursing education on the attitudes of students towards mental health nursing, quasi-experimental studies have generally demonstrated that students tended to have more favourable attitudes towards mental health nursing when they had received more hours of theoretical preparation and undertaken longer clinical placements. Conclusion. Many nursing students regard mental health nursing as the least preferred career option. Education, via classroom teaching and clinical placements, seems to engender more positive attitudes towards mental health nursing. There is no evidence, however, that changing student attitudes results in more graduates beginning careers in mental health nursing. Reference to clinical practice. The constancy of negative attitudes to mental health nursing over time suggests the focus of research should shift. Clinicians have the capacity to promote a more positive view of mental health nursing. This requires further exploration.

History

Issue

22,1-2

Start Page

148

End Page

158

Number of Pages

11

eISSN

1365-2702

ISSN

0962-1067

Location

United Kingdom

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

Institute for Health and Social Science Research (IHSSR);

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Journal of clinical nursing.